The Witchfinder considers the arguments in the case of re D, in which Mostyn J and the Court of Appeal have a significant disagreement.
Re D concerned an 18-month-old child of Czech / Roma heritage, whose parents live in the Czech Republic. The question was whether the case of this Czech family should be dealt with in the UK or whether a request should be made to the Courts in the Czech Republic to take over the matter.
The case was managed by Mr Justice Mostyn, who gave a judgement in the High Court that the Czech Courts should indeed be invited to decide the matter. His judgement was later overturned by the Court of Appeal and then remitted back to Mostyn J to dispose of the remainder of the case. Mostyn J then gave a further judgement that the child could be placed with foster carers in the Czech Republic whilst taking a few swipes at the judgement of the Court above. The case is important because of its subject and interesting because of the strident judicial disagreements.
Your inquisitor finds writing about this case to be difficult, because he has the greatest respect for Lord Justice Ryder who delivered the judgement of the Court of Appeal as well as Munby LJ, who agreed with Ryder. Both are good and decent men – Ryder LJ is in fact the very first judge the Witchfinder ever appeared before back when he was a High Court judge. It is just that in this instance Mostyn is right.